Here's the thing about India: because there are so many people who struggle each day to find food hasn't been grown with a water-sewage cocktail, you'd think overeating wouldn't be a problem here. I came to India expecting to lose serious weight, which is why I totally didn't worry about the mommy weight* I packed on this summer. (*Mommy weight: noun. The weight a college student gains when living at home and eating Mommy's meals, and cookies, and bread, and cinnamon rolls...)
Readers, beware. I'm going to need the upcoming winter to hide my growing love handles beneath miles of wool sweaters.
The best way I can describe South Indian hospitality is to say this: from the very minute I arrived at my host family's house, they have been stuffing me full of food. So much food. Iddilis and paneer and masala and chapatis and dosai and coconut chutney and hot carrot ghee and cake and tea and spicy tomato gravy... for every meal. Iddilis are little rice pancakes that expand in your stomach, and for breakfast your average Indian mother expects you to eat at least four, if not six. I usually have to battle with my host mom to stop feeding me. I think she's convinced I'm being polite or shy. Saying you're sick in Tamil Nadu really means, "Please continue to feed me until I have mutton biryani spilling out of my pores. That'll beat whatever's making me ill, right?" My common thought process while eating is usually along the lines of, God, if you really exist, you'll stop her from feeding me. And then when she spoons one more scoop of chutney onto my plate: God, please, just let me vomit. Just let me die. It would also be easier to refuse if it all weren't so frigging good. I've stopped eating lunch, which is sometimes risky because every day my host mom says, "What did you have for lunch?" and I have to make up some lie about eating at a restaurant or something.
Sweet baby Jesus, how great does a simple PB and J sound right now.